Child Mummy Could Rewrite Smallpox Timeline

The oldest genetic sample of smallpox ever studied could rewrite the timeline for this deadly disease, which ravaged Europe and much of the world beginning in the eighteenth century.

Using tissue samples taken from the mummy of a Lithuanian child dating back to the 1600s, an international team of researchers reconstructed the full RNA sequence of the smallpox virus strain that likely killed her. By comparing this genetic information to more recent samples, the team pieced together a phylo

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